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last updated Nov. 27, 2013
published Nov. 27, 2013
Poll No. 80, November 2013 - Negotiations, New Government and the Arab World
Read more:  negotiations, peace process, Rami al-Hamdallah, Hamas- Fateh conflict, Fateh-Hamas conflict, reconciliation, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Bashar Assad, Egypt
Summary: A public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center showed that half of the Palestinian people, 50.5% consider the Palestinian Authority’s decision to resume negotiations with Israel was a wrong decision compared with 33.8% that considered it a right decision. This seems to be in harmony with the majority, 68.7% which said that the negotiations would not succeed in reaching an agreement with Israel, compared with 20.8% who said they would succeed. In regards to the best methods of achieving the goals of the Palestinian people, the respondents were split, with approximately one-third (32.3%) who said that peaceful negotiations were the best method, another one-third approximately (29.3%) who said that armed resistance was the best method, and 27.1% who said non-violent, peaceful resistance was the best way.

The Government
When asked about the name of the current Prime Minister, 52.5% of respondents answered Dr. Rami al-Hamdallah compared with 14.2% who answered Isma’il Haniyeh and 28.3% who said they did not know the name of the current Prime Minister. What is noteworthy is that 36.0% of respondents in Gaza said the current Prime Minister was Dr. Rami al-Hamdallah as opposed to 37.8% who said his name was Isma’il Haniyeh,

As for the performance of the new Prime Minister Dr. Rami al-Hamdallah, the majority (35.6%) said they considered his performance to be average in comparison with 24.4% who said it was good, and 12.6% who said it was bad.

The reconciliation
The majority of the Palestinian public (30.5%) continued to hold Hamas responsible for the persisting division, compared with 17.8% who held Fatah responsible; 18.5% held both Fatah and Hamas responsible. These predictions were reflected on the level of pessimism regarding the prospects for forming a national unity government and holding general elections. 49.3% expected that no national unity government would be formed, while the majority (57.2%) expected that presidential and legislative elections would not be held within a year from now. Regarding the impact of the latest developments in Egypt on the chances for reconciliation, the respondents were split between 45.7% saying that events taking place in Egypt were not encouraging in terms of any change in Hamas’ positions towards the reconciliation; meanwhile 42.0% considered event in Egypt to encourage this change.  

The future and performance of the PNA

In regards to the future of the PNA, the majority (65.1%) said there was a need to perpetuate and maintain it while 24.3% called for its dissolution. In general, the majority (61.6%) believe the PNA’s performance is good compared with 33.6% who said it was bad. Regarding the performance of President Mahmoud Abbas, the majority (53.7%) said they were satisfied with it, compared with 39.2% who said they were dissatisfied. Furthermore, President Abbas maintained the most trust among the people – when asked about the Palestinian personality they trust the most – 20.6% said Abbas, followed by Ismail Haniyeh (11.8%) and then Marwan Barghouti (5.9%). Still, the majority (39.6%) said they did not trust anyone.  

Regarding the balances of power between political parties and main personalities, the popularity of Fatah retreated from 36.8% last November to 32.0% this November. Contrarily, the poll showed that Hamas’ popularity stood steady at 16.0%. Regarding security cooperation between the PNA and Israel, 49.3% said it should be stopped while 36.3% said it should continue. The majority (53.0%) said it did not benefit the Palestinian people, while 36.4% considered it beneficial.

The Arab Spring
As for the events taking place in the Arab world, the poll showed the Palestinian public’s pessimism towards them. The majority, (42.6%) said that these events would change the Arab world for the worse, while 28.0% said they would change it for the better. As for the impact of these events on the Palestinian cause, half of the respondents (50.2%) said they would be at the expense of the Palestinian cause, while 16.6% said they would be to its benefit.

As for the events taking place in Syria, the majority (44.4%) said they were more sympathetic with the opposition, which seeks to bring down the Assad regime, compared to 14.4% who said they were more sympathetic to the Assad regime; 36.8% said they were unsympathetic towards either side of the conflict.
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Al-Jazeera Int: PLO agrees to peace talks
al-Jazeera Int: Riz Khan with Gideon Levy

Camp David Accords (1978)
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Addresses a Joint Session of the US Congress, May 24, 2011
Fateh and Hamas Reconciliation Agreement, May 4 2011

Foreign Aid and Development in Palestine - Phase I Report
il-Istaytan Tahadi il-Salaam
The Stone and the Olive Branch: Four Years of the Intifada, from Jabalia to Madrid

Oslo accords
Cairo talks
Camp David II

"After Annapolis," Bitterlemons Dec. 3, 2007
"Netanyahu: economics not politics is the key to peace," Haaretz
"Netanyahu's economic peace," Bitterlemons, Nov. 24, 2008

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